Feds find fault with area levee maintenance

North Bend levees haven't been adequately maintained. When the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released a list of unacceptably maintained levees around the nation early this month, the poor state of North Bend levees came as no surprise to city officials.

"We weren't surprised or shocked," said North Bend Administrator Duncan Wilson. "This is the same problem we've been facing for years."

Of the 19 Washington levies that failed the Corps' inspections, nine are in North Bend, two are in Carnation on the Tolt River and the rest are in Kent and Renton.

The Corps inspects 13,000 miles on some 2,000 levee units nationwide each year. Some of the levees were built and maintained by the Corps, some were built by the Corps but maintained by local communities, others were built and maintained locally. Most of the levees in King County were built by the county in the 1950s and 1960s. They were not built to today's standards and maintenance has been lacking on many of them.

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